Our motto at With Camera In Hand is “Create, explore, learn and give” because we wanted this to be about more than just learning how to take great photos. It’s about creatively using a camera to engage with all aspects of our community, from young people, to those living with a disability, new immigrants – anyone! The great thing about photography is that it’s visual, so we can by-pass words and communicate with a different language. We can use it to play. We can use it to say something important. We can use it to raise awareness.
Photography has so much potential, beyond our current day obsessions with selfies and food snaps, so if you’ve got an idea for a community project, please get in touch.
We are currently partnering with Women’s Health Grampians on their “It Takes Courage” project. Multicultural women will be learning new skills, including photography via our workshops and creating a recipe book that will be printed in early 2018. Stay tuned for the results…. but for now, we are having lots of fun learning and laughing together with our group of 20 women from 15 different countries!
Being the year of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, we were approached to create a series of photography workshops that would engage and upskill Pinarc’s “Funky Turtles” arts group to add photography to their creative practice. The outcome was to produce a high quality exhibition for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2017.
We came up with the concept of “how the world sees me” vs “how I see myself”. Each week, for three weeks, Michelle set up a mini studio at Pinarc and members of the Funky turtles took turns being the subject and the photographer. They experimented with expression and costumes, to explore their inner creativity. What resulted was a vibrant and joyous exhibition held at the Eastwood Leisure Centre.
Over the April school holidays, we created a phone film making workshop for young people in both Avoca and Beaufort. Each group had 3 days of workshops where we did experiments, brainstormed ideas for films and played with some really cool equipment to turn phones into video cameras – we had lenses, microphones, gimbals… the works!
The kids then had to go away and finish their film in their own time. What happened? About 6 weeks later, we had 7 finished films, each 2-3 minutes long! They covered the genres of film noir, stop motion animation, documentary, horror and gaming. To celebrate the acheivement of these creative young people, we held a film festival at the Empire Theatre, Crowlands, screened the films and shared a meal together. Watch out for these young film makers in the years to come!
The Phoenix Photography Challenges with Heart came off the back of our public photography challenges, but adapted as a school program. We teamed up with two local community groups – Wala Animal Sanctuary and the YMCA Bike Recycle program and they each pitched a photography challenge to the students. Over the duration of Term 2 2017, the students learnt to use DSLR cameras and had field trips to the community groups to put their new skills into action, documenting what they saw. The images were then uploaded to the website and shared on social media, to raise awareness of these community groups. A selection of images were also exhibited at Backspace Gallery in Ballarat where many of the kids entered a gallery space for the first time and were able to see their work on display – and sold. The project raised over $500 for the community groups, both through print sales and online donations via the challenge!